I have been a member of RWA for many years now and always belong to my local chapter, in this case the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA). It is important to me to make these monthly meetings as often as possible because of the emotional support and knowledge I gain. This past Saturday was our monthly meeting. The program was one I’d never seen done before.

Our Vice-President of Programs called it LERA Buffet. Several chapter members were tapped to give fifteen minute presentations on a writing topic. We heard overviews on everything from the benefits of belonging to RWA through the Hero’s Journey and male point of view to how to put your book up on Kindle Direct Publishing. Yes, any of these topics could easily be a full program, but I got something new from every speaker. It was the taste of the writing craft and industry that was so fascinating. Sort of like dining on a meal of hors d’oeuvres.

Some of the things I learned:
Why RWA PRO really shouldn’t be in all capital letters. (PRO stands for Professional, but PAN stands for Published Authors Network. The latter is an acronym while the other is just the first three letters in the word.)

When writing from male point of view, remember how society expects men to be strong. It’s harder for them to show emotions.

The Hero’s Journey was reinterpreted for a heroine to grow internally. I really liked how Shannon Moreau showed what her internal thoughts are at each stage. She also had a slightly different take on character archetypes, which topic always attracts my interest.

The importance of editing and the types there are were explained, and tips were given on how to make your setting activated.

There was an explanation between dialogue and narration, and a list of new craft resources we might want to check into. I wish I had time to review each book presented.

The presentation on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) caught everyone’s interest, because Tamra Baumann showed an analysis of what it takes to be a $100K author. Basically, the answer is to add self-publishing to your output. Even if you are traditionally published, by becoming a hybrid author you will be able to attract more readers. Once Ms. Baumann grabbed our attention with this article, she explained how easy it was to upload an e-book on Amazon. Her handout also showed the step-by-step process.

The hard part about a buffet is that you can only savor tiny bites, but there is a lot to still explore about the craft and industry. LERA gave me a taste at this meeting.